30 patients who were not admitted for COVID-19 and tested negative upon arriving at the medical center have now tested positive for the virus.
VANCOUVER, Wash. — An outbreak of COVID-19 has spread at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, WA.
Over the past week, according to a release sent from PeaceHealth, 30 patients have tested positive for COVID-19 who were not initially admitted for the virus and tested negative upon entering the hospital.
Six employees who have links to caring for the COVID-19 patients have tested positive and 86 employees were placed on self-quarantine to ensure the safety of all the patients and workers at PeaceHealth.
“Clark County Public Health is working closely with PeaceHealth to ensure anyone who may have been exposed is notified and all cases are isolated,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and public health director. “These steps help to protect the health of patients and staff at PeaceHealth.”
PeaceHealth said its infection prevention specialists began working immediately to understand the root cause of the exposure and to help prevent further exposures.
“I have full confidence in our highly qualified health care professionals to manage through this recent incident,” said Lawrence Neville, MD, chief medical officer. . “We have been treating COVID-19 patients for 11 months and have discharged nearly 600.”
Though PeaceHealth said it has been adhering to the CDC and state guidelines including employees wearing personal protective equipment, masks, taking the daily temperature of all employees, testing all admitted patients, restricting visitors and caring for COVID-19 patients in dedicated and isolated units, the virus still spread.
“Unfortunately, this is a reminder that COVID remains in our community and can spread very rapidly. We must all remain vigilant about physical distancing, wearing masks and limiting our gatherings,” said Neville.